Further development of the method

Gerasimov’s method has been elaborated by his students in two directions:

  • more accurate reconstruction of separate facial features, and statistical testing of the results on large samples;
  • introduction of new research techniques

Based on 1,500 radiographs with clear contours of both soft tissues and the cranial base, a more accurate method of nose reconstruction was elaborated. A distinct link was established between nose width and the distance between the canines.

Topography and relationship between the thickness of soft tissues of the head in vivo (radiograph)

Radiograph of head of a young male. Transparent soft tissues of the face are distinctly visible. The study of radiographs offers a possibility of assessing the topography and relationship between the thicknesses of facial soft tissues in vivo.Radiograph of a young woman’s head. Transparent soft tissues of the face are distinctly visible. The study of radiographs provides a possibility to assess the topography and relationship between the thicknesses of facial soft tissues in vivo.

The following relationships were demonstrated:

  •  between the shape of the supraorbital margin and that of the upper eyelid fold;
  • between the height of the pigmented part of the upper lip and that of the crowns of the medial incisors;
  • between mouth width and that of the dental arch;
  • position of the eyebrows relative to that of the supraorbital margin and supraorbital relief.

In recent years, a technique for assessing the placement of the eyeballs has been finally elaborated, and a regularity in the location of hair border has been established. At present, regularities in the position of ears and of the nose tip, and in eyebrow shape are being evaluated.


Layered image, obtained by stereoscopic photography. Computer graphics.
   

Instead of radiography, which endangers health, ultrasonic echolocation was used, which has extended the possibilities for evaluating the thickness of soft tissues in vivo.

Also, a contact-free method of stereoscopic photography was elaborated, whereby the head is photographed by a special camera in many views. This method combined with ultrasonic sounding of the cranium provides a possibility of obtaining transects of the face at any level.

On that basis, the first computer-generated 3D reconstructions were obtained. At present, a software for a documental facial reconstruction from the cranium is being jointly designed by the Laboratory of Plastic Reconstruction and the Federal Center for Forensic Examination.

Mikhail Gerasimov’s Career
Mikhail Gerasimov as an Archaeologist
Reconstruction of the Face from the Cranium
The Predecessors
Elaboration of the method
Stages in the reconstruction process
Fields of application
Further development of the method
“Sinanthropus” (Member of the Species Homo Erectus)
Homo Neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man)
Neanderthal Child from Teshik-Tash
People of the Upper Paleolithic
People of the Mesolithic
People of the Early Iron Age
Drawings by M.M. Gerasimov